NiZA Current Affairs
16 December 2005
Inspectorate scrutinises vitamin C against AIDS

The Dutch Public Health Inspectorate is currently probing the legal admissibility of dealings of the Dr. Rath Health Foundation. Kees Vendrik, an MP for the GreenLeft Party, has asked the Dutch Minister of Health to investigate a prohibition of Rath’s vitamin supplements.

Dr. Rath, a German doctor, is using the Dutch town of Almelo as a base for the distribution of vitamin preparations.
South African action groups have laid a complaint against Rath, who claims his pills can be used to heal AIDS. Says Lilian Jansen of the Health Inspectorate in the Zuidelijk Afrika Magazine (ZAM) winter issue, to be released this week: “It’s simply not allowed to ascribe medicinal effects to a nutritional supplement, in this case vitamin C.” Yet this is exactly what Rath is doing, not only with respect to AIDS; he claims beneficial effects from the use of his preparations in the fight against heart problems and cancer as well. Rath advises against the use of anti-retrovirals to combat AIDS.

The South African Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) together with the South African Medical Association (SAMA) have meanwhile instituted legal proceedings in South Africa itself. They hold Rath responsible for the deaths of a number of people with AIDS.
So far the South African Health Minister, Ms. Msimang-Tshabalala, has refused to distance herself from Rath’s practices. Although the South African government has embarked on the large-scale distribution of anti-retrovirals, the minister continues to sow doubt in people’s minds as to their effectiveness. According to reports the minister maintains warm relations with the German doctor as well as with the Dutch nurse, Tine van der Maas. Earlier this year ZAM revealed that Ms. van der Maas had persuaded the minister that garlic, sweet potatoes and lemons were the best remedies against AIDS.

At an earlier stage, Rath got talked about in the Netherlands as a sponsor of the Heracles soccer club. In 2001, the club dissociated itself from Rath, and his name was removed from their soccer shirts.

For more information: Bart Luirink, editor-in-chief, at or +31.630534795